Home - Chermside & District History

Woodland Woodworks - Byrne Ford - McDonald's

1926 Chermside Township Sale

Excerpt from the 1926 Chermside Township land sale of Hamilton family land in Chermside. There was an earlier one in 1896 and a later one in 1928. The land took a long time to sell partly due the the Great Depression and World War II intervening. Some time later Charlotte St., was extended, curving to connect with Thomas St., and forming the current southern boundary of the large vacant block.

The block bounded by Hamilton Rd., Thomas St. and Charlotte St. is in the heart of Chermside, a prime business site. But when the Hamilton family offered the land for sale in 1926 the division was into housing blocks.

The area marked 17 and 2, traversed by Somerset Creek, was not for sale as it was a Nundah Shire Council Reserve which allowed access to the creek for water; it also flooded regularly. The two parts of the land added up to 2 acres 6 roods 13 perches. Using the metric system that is 10,817.12 square metres. That would be about 27 blocks at 16 perches each, if my calculations are correct.

Later the creek was channeled into concrete pipes and the land became available for sale. Somerset creek continues under Westfield Shopping Town and exits under Kittyhawk Drive to follow its ancient way to Downfall Creek through 7th Brigade Park.

Woodlands Woodworks


In 1947, James Wayper moved an ex-army shed on to the eastern side of the section marked 17 on the above map and commenced Woodland Woodworks.

The business made items such as pencil cases, shadow boards, bread boards, school rulers, wooden spoons, broom handles, cement floats, saw handles, carpenters saw stools, ladders, blocks to go under light switches, in fact just about anything that could be made of wood.

As the business expanded James bought a sawmill at Pie Creek south of Gympie which included a forest plot for timber supply. It was named Woodland Sawmills.

In 1969 or 1970 the firm moved into particle board manufacture and erected two buildings on either side of the railway line at Sunshine. There is mention of another at a place called Monkwood near Gympie!!

When plastics began to encroach on the market for wooden articles the firm moved into ready to assemble furniture making using the particle board. The product was sent to the Chermisde factory for spray painting.

Eventually the particle board factories were sold to CSR while the saw mill and forest plot were disposed of separately. Finally the firm closed in about 1984 and, presumably, the land sold to Byrne Ford.

Woodland Woodworks items manufactured
Some of the items manufactured by Woodland Woodworks in the days before plastics appeared. The wooden items could be made by small firms anywhere but plastics were manufactured by very large firms.

Byrne Ford - Byrne Proton - Byrne Ford


Originally Byrne Ford by 2007 the firm had been renamed Byrne Proton but the business was still selling and servicing motor cars.

Byrne Ford specialised in car sales and maintenance. The new owners cleared the site before they built their new premises. There is nothing to show that Woodlands ever existed.

Byrne Ford was, and is, unlike Woodworks, operating in an expanding market. Chermside was changing, the automobile age was dominant in the transport industry and Byrne Ford was riding the wave.

The premises erected by Byrne Ford were in two divisions. First were the showrooms in which new model cars were exhibited and sold, these were in the front facing Hamilton Road.

The second was the large maintenance and servicing garage which extended along Charlotte Street with a large drive in drive out entrance off Thomas Street.

In 2014 Byrne Ford has premises in Gympie Road, Kedron; Sandgate Road, Virginia and Bilsen Road, Geebung. Unlike Woodland Woodworks it serves an expanding market.

In 2007 the high rise apartment block, Thomas St. No. 22 The Chermside Apartments which specializes in serviced apartments for any length of time was built. It serves the market between the motels and the long term permanent apartments, all of which reflects the increasing complexity of the Chermside economy.

The high rise also emphasizes the fact that the horizontal expansion of Chermside is over as there is no more vacant land. Consequently expansion has to be vertical, just add more floors for living and office space.

McDonald's


The international firm of McDonald's has parking behind the building and drive through facilities on the Hamilton Rd., side.

In 2013 the large McDonald's fast food business built on the site, but not before all the buildings of Byrne Ford/Proton had been cleared. There is nothing to show that Byrne ever occupied the site. Sound familiar?

McDonalds chose this site even though just over Hamilton Rd. is Westfield which has two large food courts cooking and serving many different types of menus. However Big Mac is trading on the selling power of its reputation and also is catering to the drive in drive out market.

The Golden Arches


McDonald's Logo, the 'golden arches', is recognised internationally by people in all walks of life. It is a symbol 'worth its weight in gold'.